If you are the parent of a freshly-graduated high school student, get ready for a busy few months. They will be full of college preparations—buying supplies for the dorm room, figuring out finances, coming up with a plan to stay in touch and the list goes on.
While your child is likely fretting about which clothes to pack and whether they’ll like their roommate, you have your own concerns as the parent of a newly-minted college student. At Grand Canyon University, we understand parents want to make sure their child’s transition from nest to college is a smooth one. To lend a hand, we compiled a list of several of the most common concerns new GCU parents raise and will address them right here.
How will my child properly adjust to living on their own, away from home?
GCU assigns Life Leaders and Resident Advisors to each hall in the student dorms. Life Leaders encourage spiritual development by conducting weekly Bible studies, meeting with students should the need arise and intentionally connecting with students in their sphere of influence. These student leaders have been trained to ease new students’ discomfort during those first few awkward months.
Resident Advisors (RAs) are specially tasked with building community and enforcing the University code of conduct within their hall and living areas. RAs build relationships with each student living on their hall in order to more fully support their individual needs. RAs also help foster a tight-knit community environment by planning hall events.
Will my son or daughter be able to make friends, adapt to new challenges and basically “plug-in” to campus life?
Allowing your student to really embrace their new found independence can be stressful. Unfortunately, there is no “letting go” switch that parents can turn off once college begins. To help alleviate some of that concern, GCU provides an exceptional environment with boundaries, both physical and emotional, to accommodate this inevitable passing into adulthood.
We focus primarily on building community among our students. The Office of Student Life takes the lead on this initiative, planning tons of events to create an active, vibrant campus community, including Mr. GCU, movies on the lawn, Java Jams and scavenger hunts.
GCU Spiritual Life also encourages students to participate in leadership and discipleship activities including weekly Bible studies, Chapel and theGathering services and neighborhood outreach programs. There is a large contingent of GCU students who regularly volunteer for service events such as Serve the City, Canyon Kids and summer mission trips.
What about managing money?
Talk frankly with your student about spending limits—Will they need to take out loans? Will you be able to contribute? Will they need to get a job? GCU currently offers over 1,000 campus job opportunities to all students in order to sharpen their job skills and earn a paycheck. The positions are available under the Federal Work Study and Non-Federal Work Study programs. Students are hired on a short-term, temporary basis, usually by semester. Work schedules range from four to 20 hours per week.
Will my child be safe on campus?
The GCU Department of Public Safety works tirelessly to secure our campus and maintain student safety. Campus is completely fenced with monitored entry points and 24-hour security gates. We employ 58 public safety officers and equip all residence halls with 24-hour security card access control. Each residence hall has a safety officer stationed in the lobby from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., as well as 24-hour security camera coverage.
Other safety measures include text alerts which anyone can sign up for to receive campus emergency alerts. Meanwhile, TIPS is GCU’s online incident reporting system, which allows anyone to report an incident or potential risk to Public Safety.
In July 2012, GCU entered into a five-year, million-dollar agreement with the City of Phoenix Police Department. This allows us to help make the surrounding neighborhood safer for our students and the local community.